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Fri, Dec 07, 2007

Boeing, Northrop Grumman Go After USAF Logistics Bid

Want To Maintain Old Tanker, Supply New One

The two bidders in the hotly-contested battle for the KC-X contract to replace the US Air Force's aging KC-135 tanker fleet, also want a piece of maintaining the service's newer KC-10 aircraft.

Representatives with Northrop Grumman and Boeing confirmed Thursday their companies will compete for a nine-year deal to provide logistical and maintenance for the KC-10 fleet.

The deal could be worth up to $3.8 billion, reports The Associated Press. According to Northrop Grumman spokesman Dave Apt, the contract would cover maintenance and repair of the KC-10 refueling system, as well as engine and aircraft upgrades on the 59-plane fleet.

In addition to US Air Force aircraft, the deal also includes the same services for two KC-10 planes in service with the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

ANN has reported extensively on the competition between Boeing and Northrop to supply the Air Force's newest tanker aircraft. Dubbed KC-X, the companies are fielding variants of Boeing and Airbus commercial airliners for that $40 billion deal to replace 179 KC-135 Stratotankers.

The Air Force could decide between Boeing's KC-767 and Northrop's Airbus-derived KC-30 as soon as February 2008. A decision on the KC-10 logistics bid is expected in the summer.



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